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Old Hollywood Walking Tour

Hollywood is the center of modern storytelling…

but its own story is just as interesting as any Hollywood movie plot!

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Vintage Hollywood Photo Courtesy of Hollywood Heritage.

What was it like to witness Hollywood’s transformation from a tiny suburb of Los Angeles to the glamorous film capital of the world?  On this tour, you will learn the history of Hollywood from around 1886-1960, and have a chance to peek inside some of the hidden gems on the boulevard.

Join us to learn the story of how Hollywood transformed from a sleepy little town of orange groves into the center of the world’s entertainment industry…in less than 50 years!  Take a walk back in time to visit the homes, shops, theaters, offices and restaurants that define Hollywood’s historic identity.

Our guide, April Brooks Clemmer, leading the walking tour.


You’ll visit the oldest residential home on Hollywood Boulevard, visit a theater that hosted star-studded premieres during Hollywood’s golden age, and sip a drink where Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks unwound after a long day of filming, and where writers like F Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway wrote classic American novels.

Our destinations include:

  • Hollywood’s first and most famous movie theaters
  • The oldest remaining residence on the Boulevard
  • The longest continuously-operating restaurant in Hollywood
  • Architecturally iconic buildings
  • Hollywood’s premiere shopping district during its Golden Age

Along the way you’ll see how the story of Hollywood is still unfolding as the modern-day artists and creatives continue to reinvent their neighborhood while honoring its storied past.

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Inside the historic Janes House.

Inside Larry Edmunds Bookshop.

Under the marquee of the former News-View Theatre.


With thanks to Hollywood Heritage for their assistance and cooperation in the planning of this historic walking tour, and to Marc Wanamaker/Bison Archives for the use of their historic photos in this program and on the tour.

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The Hollywood Property Owners Alliance is a 501(c)6 nonprofit corporation that manages the Hollywood Entertainment District property business improvement district (BID).  The HPOA is governed by 17 property owners and/or representatives representing the diverse array of property types in the District:  commercial, residential, hotel, parking lot, nonprofit and government owned. The HED is funded by approximately 400 property owners who assess themselves more than $3.4M annually to pay for cleaning, security, streetscape and marketing services. The HED spans a 1.8 mile stretch of Hollywood Blvd., from La Brea to the 101 Freeway.  This middle section of the Boulevard is undergoing its own renaissance, as it is the last area to benefit from neighborhood renewal experienced in other parts of Hollywood.  To help catalyze this change, the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance moved its staff office to the middle of the Boulevard, and an effort is underway to bring the property owners in this section of the BID together.  A committee is working on a plan to  brand this section of the BID, celebrating the rich history associated with these buildings.  This “Old Hollywood” section is replete with history, legacy and stories of a vibrant downtown district where Hollywood got its start a century ago.  This walking tour is just one of many activities planned to shine a light on the history of the Boulevard and stimulate a vibrant vision for the future.